Review: The Commune by Charlie Dalton

Forced from the safety of their commune by a Reaver attack, four survivors journey to a mythical place known as the City. 

I remember the first time I met Lucy. She was clinging to a tree, a horde of hungry Rages clammering for her flesh. We rescued her and brought her to the commune. She recalled mere fragments of her home. Only the oldest recognized what she was describing. A place where technology still exists. A place the Rages never reached. A place where people still had hope. The place we call the City. No one believed her. Except me. Then the Reavers attacked, destroying our home and everything we’d built. We wandered the desert, lost, and without hope. And still, Lucy remembered that place. Does the City really exist? Can she lead us to it? Can we rebuild what we lost? Our journey begins now. But we’re not the only ones making it.

The Commune by Charlie Dalton. Book 1 of the After the Fall trilogy. Published July 2019. 244 pages. Triggers: rape, animal deaths. I received a kindle edition of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I have enjoyed everything Charlie Dalton has put out so far. Heavily influenced by horror, with with a lovely twist of sci-fi thrown in. For a while, he has been promising a full length novel, called The Commune, that was a book 1 to a new series he was working on. I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this!

First thing I want to say, is that the plot blurb for The Commune is a little bit misleading. The title of the book is not. Yes, at the very end of the book, Lucy does talk about where she came from. The plot blurb kinda makes it sound like the whole adventure is all about the main characters trying to get to Lucy’s home, when it’s not. This book is very much about the life at the commune and the relationships of the people living there. It is also a tale of survival when something terrible happens to that community. The very last 10% (maybe) is about Lucy talking about her home. She does have small flashes of her home throughout the book, but they are never the main focus like the blurb kinda indicates.

Ok, now that that is out of the way… This book was lots of FUN! There is a little bit of everything thrown in to this story! There is Cli-fi (climate fiction), aliens (maybe??), zombies, mad max like atmosphere, mad scientist, murderers, and more! I’ll be honest, at very first, when I saw that it looked like the main characters were all kids, I was a little bit wary… I’m not a huge fan of kid main characters or YA (young adult) fiction. Not that it’s BAD, it’s just not my cup of tea. But this is not your typical YA book, if it even is YA(?). Yes, there are angry teens in this story, but it felt like the subject matter was a little bit more violent then what you would expect with a young adult title. There was violent death- humans and animals, with other violent themes through out the book, such as multiple rapes. Dalton never goes in to graphic details about any of it, but it’s still there. It didn’t feel like a young adult book.

Since it was a book one, there is plenty of set up. You get to know the characters and what their life is like after The Fall happened. We don’t get a lot of details about the Fall in this book, but you learn enough to get the idea. Lucy is an interesting enigma. What exactly IS her story? You get pieces of it here and there, but she is not fully explained yet. By the end of the book, Lucy will not be the only thing you will have a lot of questions about. The whole ending is a massive cliffhanger! You are left with so many answers. A nice bait for the hook to lure you in to reading the next book! I can’t wait to see what answers are revealed in book 2.

The Commune was very entertaining and I really enjoyed reading it. Another solid entry from Dalton. A very promising start to a new series.


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